LHC puts ECP, RO, Imran on notice in Saad Rafique’s vote recount application

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Returning Officer (RO) for NA-131 were issued notices by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday over Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Saad Rafique’s application for vote recount.

Rafique has asked the LHC to direct the RO to conduct a recount after his previous attempts had been been rejected.

The PTI chairman, ECP and the RO were directed by LHC Justice Mamoonur Rasheed to submit their responses to Saad Rafique application within a day.

Saad Rafique received 83,633 votes compared to Imran Khan’s 84,313, losing by a margin of only 680 votes. While 2,835 rejected votes were recounted upon request by the former railways minister, Khan retained his victory with a slim margin.

Rafique then applied for recounting all votes in the constituency.

Imran Khan has not yet announced which of five seats he emerged victorious on will be retained.

The RO, the Presiding Officer (PO) and the ECP can consider requests for vote recount. The PO can conduct a recount out of his own accord or upon requests by candidates or their representatives. However, the PO can order a recount only once.

The RO has to be given a written request by candidates or their representatives if the margin of victory is less than five per cent.

The ECP can order a recount before the consolidation process is completed.